Deer Lakes’ Carson McCoy among A-K Valley athletes ready for state track meet

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021 | 5:55 PM


Deer Lakes’ Carson McCoy knows the feeling of running at the PIAA Class AA track and field championships.

As a freshman in 2019, he took part in the 800 meters at Shippensburg and placed 21st.

Now, McCoy is one of the hunted at states as the No. 2 seed for Friday’s 1,600. The finals are set for 12:25 p.m.

“Being there before and knowing what to expect takes some of the nerves away,” said McCoy, who finished with a silver medal at WPIALs in a time of 4 minutes, 18.96 seconds, a season best by nearly nine seconds.

“Also, missing a whole season, it almost feels like (2019’s trip) never happened. I am just going to trust in my preparation throughout the year and know that I put the work in.”

At WPIALs, McCoy finished less than a second from champion Gabe McConville (4:18.01), a senior from Waynesburg.

“It definitely will be cool racing him again,” McCoy said.

WPIAL bronze medalist Kirk Stewart, a senior from South Park, is seeded third in the 1,600 on Friday. He ran a 4:21.18 at WPIALs.

“This is a good example of just how powerful the WPIAL has been this year, at least in the distance,” McCoy said.

McCoy isn’t the only Deer Lakes athlete set to compete at states as he will be joined by senior Nigel Rossman.

Rossman is seeded sixth in the 200 (22.57) and 10th in the 100 (11.23) after taking second in both at WPIALs.

“It will be cool going up with him,” McCoy said. “I know he is going to have a good state meet. Even though his WPIALs times weren’t his fastest, he has some pretty fast PRs this year.”

This year, the state championship meets are split into separate days. Class AAA will take center stage Saturday.

Friday’s events begin at 9 a.m., with the finals of the boys and girls 3,200 and various jumping and throwing events.

Riverview coach Palma Ostrowski said she hopes the boys 3,200 relay of sophomore Amberson Bauer, juniors Ty Laughlin and Parker Steele and senior Mason Ochs can surpass the 8:17.09 they ran in winning the WPIAL title last week. The relay is seeded seventh.

“It’s always the goal to go faster at states,” Ostrowski said. “We talk about it all the time. It’s hard sometimes to know how to taper, or if there is such a thing as a double taper. To be able to run as well as they did (at WPIALs) and still then be able to peak at states is a challenge, but I know they will do the best they can.”

It is the first time a Riverview boys 3,200 relay qualified for states since 2009.

Ochs, a Lock Haven commit, returns to states in the 3,200 run. He is seeded 17th after placing fourth at WPIALs (10:11.93). Ochs took 17th at states in the 3,200 in 2019 (9:52.55).

Apollo-Ridge senior Casey Weightman heads to Shippensburg as the No. 9 seed in the javelin. A throw of 121 feet, 7 inches secured the WPIAL title last week.

She is no stranger to PIAA competition as she took 14th in the javelin representing Belle Vernon at the Class AAA meet in 2019.

“It’s definitely an opportunity most don’t have, and I am really grateful to be in the position to see a different level of athlete,” Weightman said. “So I am really excited to compete with the top dogs in the state.”

Burrell will have four relays — three boys and one girls quartet — at states.

The boys 1,600 relay of seniors Brayden Callahan, Ryan Wurzer, Jake Guerrini and Ian Smola finished runner-up to Riverside at WPIALs in a season-best time of 3:29.53. The team is seeded third at states behind Riverside and No. 2 Southern Columbia from District 4.

The Bucs boys 400 relay (Callahan, Guerrini, Wurzer and junior Kayden Ireland) is seeded 13th, while the 3,200 relay (senior Matt Wass, junior Ethan Croushore and freshmen Luke Guerrini and Liam Kuczinski) is the 21st seed.

The Burrell girls 3,200 relay (freshmen Leah Brockett and Grace Nesko, junior Isabella Leger and sophomore Ali Hughes) checks in as the 17th seed.

Individually for Burrell, Guerrini is in position to challenge for a medal as the eighth seed in the 400 after taking fourth at WPIALs in a personal-best time of 50.78.

Apollo-Ridge junior Greg Klingensmith is hoping for big things in the discus. He is seeded seventh after a third-place finish at WPIALs with a school-record distance of 156-9.

The Pennsylvania Cable Network will broadcast the Class AA championships, with coverage starting at 10:15 a.m. It will include live and recorded events on the track and in the field.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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